Businesses are experiencing their own version of “A Christmas Carol.” They don’t need to be reminded about holidays past—they know what we’ve weathered. And they’re leery about what the ghost of holidays future might bring: Yes, we’re transitioning out of pandemic footing, but into what? Recessionary fears abound, fighting with inflation for the public’s attention. That puts a lot of pressure on what is hopefully the friendliest spirit, that of holidays present.
The good news is that the start of the shopping season—Black Friday weekend—was promising, setting records for both online sales and number of shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores. The key now is ensuring that the big start doesn’t hollow out later sales. The Harris Poll surveyed consumer sentiment to tease out how to do that and have come up with three key insights for making these holidays happy.
First, it’s important to understand the consumer mood. They largely have a status quo disposition: About half (52%) said that they plan to spend as much during the winter holiday season overall compared to last year. And while 22% plan to spend more, a roughly equivalent number (20%) aim to spend less.